The immense success of inflatable paddle boards (SUP) has contributed to more families paddling together to make life-long memories. One of the great things about paddleboarding is that it’s a versatile activity that anyone could enjoy, regardless of their age, level of ability or physical condition. We’ll go over 9 important safety tips before getting young children into the paddle. Kids really enjoy the ride, and inflatable paddle board is a perfect way to expose kids to the water at a young age.
As anything else, it is vital that you properly prepare for your adventure and ensure that all your equipment and preparations are in place before paddling out with your little ones. You will be aoardble to enjoy healthy and incredibly enjoyable paddling experiences with your kiddos with the easy tips outlined in this post.
And without more hype, let’s go straight into 9 Items You need to learn prior to paddleboarding with Your Child
TIP #1: Lifejackets / PFDs are a MUST-HAVE SUP Accessory (for both you and your child), PFD is a device which you should never leave home without when it comes to paddleboarding. While small children are often required by law to wear life jackets at all times, many parents make the mistake of looking over the appropriate safety equipment. It is especially true of those seasoned watermen and women who feel confident enough to swim. Nevertheless, nothing could be further from the facts.
Also experienced swimmers have over the years suffered sadly and needless drowning fatalities and many could definitely have been stopped with the use of life jackets. Regardless of your water experience, make sure you and all your paddling partners wear PFDs before entering the lake. Some flotation devices are allowed by law in many countries.
There are various PFD forms to choose from. This range from belt packages inflating on water or cord pull, modern designs that allow maximum freedom of movement, to these musty traditional life jackets that you recall when you were kid when you canoe in the summer camp. Laws vary from state to state, so be sure to learn the laws you paddle. Most adults have the right to choose what they wear most comfortably. However, as conventional life jackets provide the most boom and effective protection, they are usually recommended and often essential for children.
TIP #2: Make sure you have the right paddle board Before you paddle with your kid, it is important that you have the right board for the job. The manufacturers of paddle boards have extensive details on their SUPs and you need to ensure that your paddle board suits you and your child’s combined weight.
SUP stability is another consideration: the best paddling boards for children are broader models which provide greater stability. Try to avoid narrow paddle boards, especially at the start when you and your child start.
TIP #3: Parents Should wear a SUP Leash Another very important paddle-up accessory for stand-up is SUP leash. Paddle boards leashes ensure that you and your board never get separated from one another when on the water. In harsh, windy weather and strong winds, this dangerous situation can easily occur.
SUP health is an extremely important issue for us. As we are committed to ensuring that people are safe on shore, we have all our boards with coiled SUP leashes. The coiled leaves with our double-swivel design give full movement freedom with minimal drag and are suitable in most conditions. If you’re mainly surfing waves, however, our shorter straight surf leash is a better bet. A straight leash boundary rebounds in the waves and keeps the board from picking you back when you fall.
Make sure you wear your belt and learn the right way to paddle
TIP #4: Review instructions Before paddling with your baby, check with them for some simple instructions. Let them think they are part of your paddling squad even though they are not carrying a paddle. Show them precisely where they are going to sit on your board and decide about when it is time to sit still and move freely. When you leap around the deck of your SUP while manoeuvring your board, not only will the board become unstable, it could also cause a child to be hit by the paddle.
TIP #5: Choose a peaceful place to paddle with babies, avoid rough and demanding conditions. Pick a place that is quiet with little to no boat traffic and not waste crazy windy days paddling. Optimal environment guarantees the trust of your child in the water and relaxation and the complete enjoyment of the experience.
Find a pleasant quiet place to paddle the day together and encourage your child to set the pace.
Tip #6: Start Kneeling On your child’s first paddle, don’t be afraid to raise your knees. Paddling on your knees lowers the centre of gravity and gives you more stability — which at first makes things much easier as both of you hang up.
Yeah, of course, this plays well for bigger children who even learn to paddle. It’s a perfect way to get relaxed if you don’t feel sure about your feet, start paddling when you push off shore, or brace when the wind and waves get too hard when you are out in the water.
TIP #7: Keep it safe and optimistic The behaviour of small children is often unpredictable so remain calm and not be upset when your child is fussy or uncontrollable when on water. The whole thing about spending a day together on the water is having fun! It is important that young children have a positive relationship with paddling so that unpleasant situations are avoided which will ruin their experience.
In the event of a deterioration in your children’s behaviour on the water, stop paddling, sit on the board and take some time to relax with love. Trust them if they feel depressed and want to get away with negativity by concentrating on positive issues. What did they like the most up to now? Have you ever seen any wildlife? Are there any places they want to explore?
Engaging your child in a calm, patient and loving way is going to make things fun for everyone and ensure your SUP experience is positive.
TIP #8: Sun Protection Over-exposure to sun is unsafe for both children and adults, and protecting you and your child with sun protection is extremely important. We suggest wearing a large-scale hat, besides the sunscreen, which offers additional coverage for your face, head, and back. This is also a safe idea to wear UPF 50 + rash guards or swim shirts to protect your chest, shoulders and upper torso from sunburn.
Water serves as a strong reflector on the sun’s rays, so it’s an simple way to create a bad burn for hours. Follow these simple precautions to protect yourself and your child.
TIP #9: Bringing along waters and snacks Children are notorious for snacking all around the clock and it is important that you pack lots of snacks on water for your time. If you keep them satisfied, you avoid crany episodes and spend more time together exploring.
Water is also a must in addition to snacks. Extended periods in the hot sun can lead to dehydration, so don’t forget to put in a bottle of water or two full of cool water for your adventure.
Paddleboarding is an activity families can enjoy at all ages together and it is fun to engage children in sport early in life. If they are properly exposed to the water by following these basic tips, they can ensure a good SUP experience and a positive relationship with the sport. Find a paddle board rental near your home to try it next week end 😉
It is also important to note that as parents, through our acts, we teach our children. When they see us as the highest priority of SUP health, they will of course grow up to be good paddlers and pass on these practises to their children. The first way to educate the next generation of paddlers is to lead by example and this duty falls squarely on our shoulders.
We hope that this article was helpful and that your family together will create many lovely memories of the water.